The Utopian Conceit and the War on Freedom


Pilon, Juliana Geran, Ph.D.

Dr. Juliana Geran Pilon is a Senior Fellow at the Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization. Her books include "The Art of Peace: Engaging a Complex World", "Notes From the Other Side of Night", "Soulmates: Resurrecting Eve"; "Why America is Such a Hard Sell": "Beyond Pride and Prejudice", and "The Bloody Flag: Post-Communist Nationalism in Eastern Europe -- Spotlight on Romania". Former Vice President for Programs at the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), where she designed, conducted, and managed projects related to a wide variety of democratization projects, she has also taught at the National Defense University, Emory University, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, Johns Hopkins University, George Washington University, American University, the Center for Advanced Defense Studies, the Rochester Institute of Technology, and the Institute of World Politics, where she was Director of the Center for Culture and Security.

Dr. John J. Dziak, served for almost five decades as a senior intelligence officer and Senior Executive in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Defense Intelligence Agency, and later in private consulting, as President of the Dziak Group. A graduate of the National War College, Dr. Dziak received his doctorate from Georgetown University, and specializes in counterproliferation, counterintelligence, counterdeception, strategic intelligence, and intelligence education. He is the recipient of numerous defense and intelligence awards and citations, including the Defense Medal for Distinguished Civilian Service, and is the author of the award-winning, Chekisty: A History of the KGB.

Book CoverAfter the unexpected collapse of the Soviet Union, the categories of “Left” and “Right” continue to be used to describe political ideologies, despite their historic ambiguity and a shared utopian root. The idealistic belief that a perfect world is possible continues to dwell on existential hope for messianic salvation. This belief lay at the heart of the apocalyptic narratives of the Bible and reflects what the Greeks called hubris, a fatal and destructive form of conceit. This conceit reemerged in the Gnostic sects of early Christianity, then again in medieval millenarianism, Jacobinism, Marxism, Fascism, and secular “liberal” collectivism. Modern-day Salafi Islam is the latest manifestation in this nefarious tradition. In The Utopian Conceit and the War on Freedom, noted political philosopher Juliana Geran Pilon explores the roots of this malevolent ideology as the common ancestor of both anti-capitalism and anti-Semitism in the contemporary world, where political and religious freedom is increasingly under assault.

In an age of rampant religious and philosophical skepticism and national and ethnic deracination, religious and quasi-religious ideologies bent on the vilification and destruction of entire communities are confronting and undermining a confused, guilt-ridden, materialistic, and often nihilistic Western society. In this bold and dynamic book, Pilon argues that a strong defense of freedom and pluralism, which forms the basis of constitutional democracy, is essential for the survival of civilization. Culturally sensitive and empirically tested outreach, predicated on an uncompromising defense against disinformation and terror, must be waged by all civilized nations, but especially the United States as its role evolves in a changing world.

American Studies, Political Science, Political Philosophy, Ideology, Intellectual History, Religion, Religious Studies, Jewish Studies, Utopianism, Anti-Semitism, Global Politics
Release Date: 
September 15, 2019
978-1680531558 Hardcover; ISBN: 978-1680531664 Paperback
$139.95 / $29.95
Trim Size: 

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